What It Costs [Me] to Apply to Grad School

I am applying to grad school for the Fall 2014 semester. I don’t even want to talk about it.

In lieu of a nervous breakdown, though, here is a financial one:


The GRE test itself: $185.00 / HIGHWAY ROBBERY
GRE study book: free from the library
GRE test snax: almonds, probably like $10, a string cheese, $.99 / worth every penny
cost of re-learning algebra and geometry and statistics: UNTOLD
sending score reports to extra schools: first two were free, second two were $25 each
shame of getting a 4/6 on the ‘Analytical Writing’ portion of the GRE when I am applying to writing schools: middling

Subtotal: $246


sending a copy of my college transcript to myself first, just to see: $7
sending official transcripts to schools that require it: $7 x four schools = $28
sending official transcripts to the other schools once I am accepted: probably $0 because I won’t get in, OR, if we’re being positive, 21 more dollars.

Subtotal: $35


Telling you where I am applying to grad schools is not something I want to do but in the interest of JOURNALISM here you go.

Vanderbilt: Free! Amazing.
UT-Austin, Michener: $65
UT-Austin, New Writers Project: $65 (yes they have two programs and I applied to both, and yes it’s kind of insane)
Syracuse: $75 (ok fine anything for you, George Saunders)
Michigan: $65
Iowa: $60
Wisconsin: can’t find out without submitting my application and I haven’t finished my Personal Statement yet but I’m going to assume it’s $65
A handful of less competitive schools I apply to at the last minute, in a panic: Hard to predict

Subtotal: $395. Jesus Christ.


I have to mail in actual paper to Iowa and Syracuse, so that might be another $8, let’s say $10 with the cost of envelopes.


A tea every afternoon spent at the coffee shop, trying not to kill myself: $2/day x 30 days = $60

GRAND TOTAL: $746 (+ whatever interest or late fees accrue on my credit card when I forget to pay the bill)


Photo: Kaplan International English



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